WA’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry is heralding a return to growth as a sign the state’s economy is back on track.

CCIWA chief economist Rick Newnham said WA’s economy grew a modest 0.2 per cent, year on year, the first time in more than four years the state had shown signs of year-on-year expansion.

He said the news was evidence the state economy was finding its feet after transitioning from mining construction to production.

“Although domestic growth is just 0.2 per cent, year on year, it is driven by rebounding household consumption stemming from increased optimism in WA households,” he said.

“Household consumption has grown by 1.5 per cent year on year after weak growth in 2016-17.

“There are better signs for job creation with business investment falling by just 4.4 per cent.

“The decline in business investment has been a weight pulling down WA’s economy and restraining jobs growth. Once business investment stops falling and returns to growth we expect the whole economy to begin to pick up.”

Construction site - residential home builders WA

Mr Newnham said business confidence had also hit a seven-year high in the March 2018 quarter, with 75 per cent of WA businesses expecting the economy to improve or stay the same in the short term.

“This highlights that businesses are feeling more confident about the future of the WA economy, which continues to be led by the mining sector, with 83 per cent anticipating stronger economic conditions for the year ahead,” he said.

“This isn’t surprising, given $103 billion worth of resource projects are estimated to be in the pipeline.”

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Original Article by
Nathan Hondros

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